From artificial auroras to radiation belts around Earth: Cold War-era nuclear tests spurred dramatic space weather events

Between 1958 and 1962, the United States and USSR conducted high-altitude nuclear explosion tests, detonating weapons as high as 250 miles above the surface. A new study has found that these tests triggered changes in Earth’s magnetic environment similar to those resulting from naturally-occurring space weather, when the sun sends high-energy particles streaming toward the magnetosphere. The researchers found that these Cold War-era tests gave rise to temporary radiation belts around Earth and even created artificial auroras that could be seen over the equator, instead of the poles……Read More

 

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